The Restoration

The restoration of the White Pillars was the pride of owner John Mladinich. He’d long planned the revival of his beloved White Pillars and the spring of 2012, the process began. At a cost of over $2,000,000, the restoration and new construction project soon became the talk of the town.

John was aided in his quest to “bring the Pillars back” by his son-in-law, Brooks Holstein, whose commercial real estate development company, COMVEST Properties, would lend the talents of its development and marketing teams.

John’s daughter, Deborah Holstein, an interior designer and owner of Design Associates, was instrumental in researching and choosing historically accurate details from hardware to ironwork. She also developed a period appropriate design package that included fixtures, wall-coverings, fabric and furnishings for consideration of the incoming operators.

Architect Steve Zito, of Zito Russell Architects, PC, was selected to provide architectural and design services. Construction management was provided by Rogers and Willard, Inc and overseen by Ryan Ott, Vice President.


The restoration began with the removal of the canopy and glass walls that enclosed the portico. For the first time in over 40 years the structure’s majestic columns were exposed to the beachfront.


Inside, additional dining space was designed in an area that had previously served as an interior courtyard. This addition became known as the Terrace Room. The large open room with a deep coffered ceiling feature 4 columns and a raised “terrace”. Along the west wall and opening into the lounge is a series of five double leaf French doors – the Ursuline Convent doors were also restored.


The restoration of the bar was entrusted to Ronnie Garcia of Ronnie G’s Antique and Furniture Restoration, of Gulfport. Removing the original varnish finish using a technique called French Polishing revealed a beautiful walnut with poplar trim. The storied bar had always been assumed to be mahogany!


Covered by carpet in the early 1970’s, the original hardwood flooring on the second floor was brought back to life by Glenn Camplejohn, Jr. and his team with Glenn’s Hardwood Floors of Ocean Springs. They also installed new hardwood flooring in the first floor east and west dining rooms as well as refinishing the staircases.


Talented craftsman, Jimmy Webb, Rogers & Willard Project Supervisor, reproduced window and door casings and other trim details throughout the new additions to match the woodwork original to the 1920’s construction.